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Daily Reading: Job 20:1-22:30 ESV, 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 ESV, Psalm 40:11-17 ESV, Proverbs 22:2-4 ESV

Daily Verse: “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Corinthians 1:5 ESV)

Parakelesis (3874): “Means, “a calling to one’s side.” “An exhortation, or consolation, comfort,” e.g., “looking for the consolation of Israel” is equivalent to waiting for the coming of the Messiah.”[i]

Calling to one’s side.

Paul shares how God comforted him in his distress.  As the apostle’s struggles increased, so did Jesus’ presence in his life.  With Paul’s struggles came Christ’s comfort, which compelled him to share the divine sympathy Paul experienced with others.

Comfort means showing up.  Coming alongside someone when they have trouble in life comforts them.  As Christ-followers, we can call Him to our side in times of need.  In this world, we will have struggles, but Christ comforts us.

When my mother had her first heart attack, it devastated me.  A woman of good health, I rarely saw her sick, much less in the hospital.  One of my most precious memories during that tough time still encourages me over twenty years later.

Divine comfort.

Seeking solace from God, I sat by her bedside as she slept, reading my Bible.  Although I can’t remember the exact passage, I do remember the comfort I felt as my eyes skimmed the pages of the Good Book.  Then her pastor walked into the room, offering to sit with me for a while, God in the flesh.

On the darkest days of my life, Christ shows up.  His comfort comes in unexpected ways, but it always comes.  God used my husband’s arms when my nephew died to comfort me.  Throughout my life, friends, family, and even strangers comfort me.

I still pray for the stranger who helped me choose the right train.  After a taxi cab rammed my rental car, totaling it, near Washington D.C., I caught the train home.  In shock, tears streaming down my face, I didn’t know which train to take, my mind incapable of thought.  But the businessman on his way to work helped me find my way.  God in the flesh, again.

When in need of comfort, call out to Jesus.  Lose yourself in the scriptures as you wait expectantly on God’s help.  The Lord comes in many ways, but He always comes.  Show up for people when they need you, and comfort them with your presence.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 190) Thomas Nelson

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